The Beasts of England and the Southern Baptist Convention

George Orwell’s Animal Farm was included in the curriculum of my 9th Grade “World Cultures” class at Central High School in Chattanooga, TN.  In the book, which is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, a group of animals, led by pigs, overthrow their human master and take over the farm on which they live.  Having thrown off the yoke of human oppression, the animals build a society based upon equality.  It doesn’t take long, however, for the rules of the revolution to change. “All animals are equal,” declare the pigs, “but some animals are more equal than others.”  At the end of the story, the pigs take to playing cards with humans while their animal brethren look on. The last line of Animal Farm reads as follows:

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

In the Southern Baptist Convention, R. Albert Mohler is seen as something of a reforming intellectual, a stalwart beacon of conservatism who overthrew the liberal influence at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary early in his career. Young Southern Baptists look up to him. The Conservative Resurgence, in which he took part, was a part of the Baptist History curriculum at my seminary. Here is a picture of Mohler and his wife signing copies of their books at the Southern Baptist Convention today:

In 2014, Mohler nominated Ronnie Floyd to be SBC President. Ronnie Floyd is not seen as something of a reforming intellectual, a stalwart beacon of conservatism. Ronnie Floyd is a slick-dressing (his nick name is “Ronnie Armani”) mega pastor who pays a photographer to follow him around and take pictures of him being a Christian celebrity.  Floyd once preached at IHOP (the cult, not the restaurant) and is a borderline prosperity pimp.   Floyd has a mentorship program at his (multi-campus) church where young men can pay him to come and learn how to be like him.  Mohler once endorsed that program.  Floyd just wrote (somehow finding the time to do so) a book about how to live a healthy life (think Dr. Phil/Tony Robbins/Dr. Oz but a preacher with no medical degree).  Here’s a picture advertising Floyd’s book signing at the Southern Baptist Convention today:

It’s not hard to understand why the Southern Baptist Convention is, once again, in trouble.  For some reason, Southern Baptist sycophants (many of whom are pastors) want to go to the Southern Baptist Convention, buy books, and have them signed by their luminary authors.  There are vision caster wannabee church growth slicksters who want to be like Floyd.   There are Calvinist bow-tie wearing intellectuals who want to be like Mohler.  One group thinks the other group is different.  All I see is mega men selling mega books and making mega bucks off of their mega fans.  I think, sometime later in the week, people are going to walk away from the merchandise booths and vote on sending missionaries to a lost and dying world.  I hope that part goes okay.  Then it’s back to the book tables I guess.  Looking back, I think I learned more from Animal Farm than I have from Southern Baptist celebrities.  Now, I’m going to end this article with the same quote I already used in case someone still doesn’t get it:

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

 

 

 

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Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Member of the Evangelical Theological Society
Certified Public Accountant

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